Opera For All
Summer of Opera 2013
Greenham Common Trust is teaming up with professional touring opera experts Opera Brava for a festival of opera this summer continuing the buzz of interest in the art form ignited by Dustin Hoffman’s feel good movie Quartet.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The packed programme begins with a wonderfully vivid adaptation of the C.S. Lewis classic fairy tale The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe performed by pupils at Whitelands Park Primary School on Thursday May 2 at the Corn Exchange in Newbury.
Children will not only learn how to sing but will be taught skills such as prop and mask making , dancing, stage management, acting and everything that goes into making an operatic success!
For 25 years Opera Brava has been providing inspirational and unique workshops for children aged 7- 13, creating a participative and fun environment for both pupils and teachers.
Opera Brava Artistic Director Bronek Pomorski says: “We create a dynamic and friendly environment and aim to encourage confidence within each child leaving memories that last a lifetime. Having worked with over 20,000 children in over 250 schools, the feedback we have received is a testament to the success of our workshops.”
Greenham Common Trust is funding the performance and has invited parents, teachers, family and friends to attend free of charge. Tickets are reserved for family and friends of pupils performing and will be organised through the school. Public tickets are subject to availability.
Rigoletto - Newbury Racecourse Grandstand - Saturday June 29th
You’ve laughed at and loved Dustin Hoffman’s tale of four retired opera singers Quartet , now come and see the live outdoor opera Rigoletto at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday June 29th.
A fabulous cast of young and thrilling singers mixed with some international artists who have performed in major opera houses including Covent Garden and English National Opera has been assembled who will perform Giuseppe Verdi’s classic tale of love, deception, a curse and murder.
The able cast will perform alongside Newbury’s own Southern Sinfonia orchestra.
The title role of Rigoletto is the first fully developed character found in Verdi's operas; his changes of mood and emotion seem naturally wedded to the dramatic situation, and his music has an inevitable quality, seemingly driving the story to its tragic conclusion.
The opening of the final act contains two of the most famous pieces in all opera: the Duke's La donna e mobile (which needs no introduction), and the famous quartet, Bella figlia dell'amore (the focus of Hoffman’s film), in which each character is expressing a different emotion.
Artistic Director at Opera Brava Bronek Pomorski says: “Rigoletto is one of opera's most vivid and compelling characters, a vengeful court jester, desperately tries to protect his daughter from disaster in this heart-wrenching tragedy. If you haven’t been to Opera for All before bring a picnic and let the whole family see and hear a new magnificent production of Verdi’s Rigoletto.”
The performance starts at 7pm and gates open at 5.30pm. Early bird tickets are available from just £5 (until April 30th) and advanced tickets £7.50 (until June 29). Tickets on the gate cost £10.
Candlelit Gala - Shaw House - Saturday July 27th
The season finishes with a Candlelit Opera Gala by Opera Brava on Saturday July 27 at 7.30pm with Chamber Ensemble by Southern Sinfonia set against the beautiful backdrop of the historic Shaw House.
This event promises to have something for everyone, the lifelong opera lover or the novice, this fully staged programme will contain a feast of opera’s most inspiring music that will create a positive and lasting memory.
The first half includes such gems as: La Traviata, the Lakme duet, the Pearl Fishers duet, Rigoletto Quartet, and Mozart trio plus many others.
The second half includes a West Side Story medley, Lehar, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin melodies and a popular medley from the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, interspersed with informative and comic anecdotes.
Singers from English National Opera, Covent Garden and International Opera houses will entertain you with world class singing and accompanied by the Opera Brava ensemble.
This programme encompasses some of the most frequently requested pieces on Classic FM.
Advanced tickets cost £25 (adults, £10 children).
All tickets are available from the Corn Exchange Box Office in Market Place, Newbury; telephone 0845 5218 218 or visit www.cornexchangenew.com
Tickets for the Gala performance are also available from Opera Brava. Please call 01444 443000 or book online at www.operabrava.co.uk
Greenham Common Trust has been putting on affordable Opera for All the whole family since 2005 and has been in a successful partnership with Opera Brava since 2009.
The Barber of Seville - Newbury Raceourse June 30th, 2012
Greenham Common Trust has invited Britain’s leading outdoor opera company Opera Brava to return for their fourth year to Newbury Racecourse on Saturday June 30th 2012 to perform Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
The Trust has been organising and subsidising outdoor operas since 2005, delivering outstanding professional performances which are accessible and enjoyable for family audiences at a fraction of Covent Garden prices.
In Olympic year the whole country is poised for a myriad of amazing cultural experiences and The Barber of Seville promises to be a spectacle which will not disappoint. With an audience of up to 2,000 adults and children expected, this production will excite and thrill both regular opera audiences and anyone who wants to see opera for the first time.
Opera Brava Director Bronek Pomorski says: “Written in three weeks, Rossini’s melodic masterpiece is one of the wittiest and most immediately appealing comic operas in the repertoire today and as fresh to the ear now as when it first burst upon it’s Italian audiences in 1816. As the plot unfolds and is dramatically told through Rossini’s brilliant musical structure, it helps us to understand, in part, the Barber’s special place in the history of opera.”
Opera Brava is also celebrating its 25th year as Britain’s leading touring opera company. Their production of The Barber of Seville is performed by professional and experienced national and international opera singers who have worked with major companies such as; English National Opera and Covent Garden. Paul Austin Kelly has sung The Count Almaviva at The Metropolitan Opera and Covent Garden, Gillian Webster who has sung Mimi at The Royal Opera House sings Berta, Mark Beesley currently at The Royal Opera House is Bartolo and Martin Nelson a regular at The Royal Opera House sings Don Basilio. Two young rising stars, Niamh Kelly as Rosina, and John Lofthouse as Figaro, unravel Rossini’s fantastic score with wonderful skill. This is all held together by Jeremy Silver, an international conductor who has conducted at English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Europe and in South Africa.
Greenham Common Trust spokesman Julian May says: “The outdoor opera events have become a must see in the Newbury calendar. We are delighted to welcome back Opera Brava who always deliver a very special evening to remember.”
The Trust is also funding the hugely popular junior opera for the third year in partnership with Opera Brava, which will be performed at Newbury Racecourse on Thursday June 28th.
Felix Rayner, headteacher of the Winchcome School, says: "The Winchcombe School is delighted to be working with Opera Brava this summer on their production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. This will be an amazing opportunity for our children and staff to work with professional singers and actors. We hope this will unleash the many talents of our children and give them a new and exciting experience they can build on in the future. We thank The Greenham Common Trust in their support of this project - the whole school community are looking forward to it immensely."
Bronek Pomorski adds: "We are really looking forward to working with the teachers and children of Winchcombe School at Newbury Racecourse. It will be a fantastic opportunity for the school children to experience performing in an outdoor Opera and hopefully a memory they will cherish for years to come."
Tickets for The Barber of Seville cost £10 and are available from the Corn Exchange in Newbury. You can purchase tickets online from www.cornexchangenew.com, by calling the theatre’s box office on 01635 522733 or by calling into the theatre in the Market Place, Newbury. Doors open at 6pm for a 7.30pm start. A licensed bar is available and visitors are welcome to bring a picnic and their own chairs.
The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe performance starts at 7pm and admission is free. Refreshments will be served before and during the performance. All donations will go towards school funds.
For more information about the Trust Opera for All performances please click here
La Boheme 2011 - Find out how this year's performance went
Or watch a video from last year's performance of The Magic Flute.
Opera for All is Greenham Common Trust’s flagship annual event where the whole family can enjoy professional outdoor opera at a fraction of Covent Garden Prices. The Trust has been organising the popular subsidised event at Newbury Racecourse since 2005 (to coincide with the racecourse’s centenary celebrations) and last year we had our highest ever audience of 1,500 people. The opera is part of the Trust’s charitable initiative to make all genres of music and the arts accessible to the local community in West Berkshire and North Hampshire.
The nationally recognised touring opera company Opera Brava brings the best and most loved operas to audiences at an open air performance at the height of summer, when the crowds can enjoy a picnic with their music. On Saturday June 11, 2011 local residents will once again be invited to bring their hampers and blankets and soak up the wonderful atmosphere of Puccini’s finest score La Boheme.
In 2010 the Trust decided to expand its opera into a local weekend of culture by creating a partnership with West Berkshire Minority Ethnic Forum and supported them in their Culture Fest – an event celebrating the rich diversity of culture in our local communities. We also asked Opera Brava to extend its opera events to include a junior opera which is practised and performed by The Willows Primary School children in Greenham culminating in open air performance on the Friday before the main event at Newbury Racecourse. Last year they performed The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and this year it will be Prince Caspian. (Click Junior Opera for more details).
The Trust's chief executive Stuart Tagg says: "Opera for All is a fantastic opportunity for the whole community to experience a professional, high quality opera at an affordable price. So if you've never been to an opera before why not come down, bring a picnic and enjoy a wonderful evening out. What could be better than sipping a glass of wine, watching the sun set and listening to some of the finest opera in the country?”